Completed in 1860, the historic old courthouse (now museum) in Vicksburg is a jewel in the city's crown.
I visited the museum today and wanted to invite my CivilWar Talk friends to come along.
The one thing that makes this historic museum special is that it is full of artifacts found by the locals in their yards and gardens and were given to the museum for people to enjoy. Many are in their "raw state".
These artifacts came from the many camps that the soldier's occupied in and around the city.
They are varied and include personal items as well as weapons.
As I was browsing through the cases, I became startled to see a house cat perched on one of the displays. You gotta love it. I guarantee you won't find a mouse anywhere in this museum!
So many locals have donated artifacts that they have found to the museum that you find the more common items like minie balls and shell fragments stuck away in shelves underneath display cases.
Now here is a jewel....This large hunk of iron is a 7'' Dyer shell (42 lb. Rifle) found by a local relic hunter back in 1981. It is noted on the display that this is the only one known to be found in Vicksburg.
About 30 years ago, a relic hunter discovered this .58 calibre minie ball with a message carved on it: "From Grant"
For those that have been to the battlefield at Port Gibson, you will have seen the A.K. Shaifer home where the first shots of the battle were fired.
The cufflinks were carved from a tree on his property.
Cases of cleaned shells line the halls of the museum.
This courtroom saw many famous Americans including Confederate president Jefferson Davis and Theodore Roosevelt among many others.
A whole room is dedicated to the household furnishings of local planters including this china and silver service display.
There are also rooms dedicated to other areas of Vicksburg's rich history including native American and 20th century.
Well worth a visit. I know my time was well spent today!